Artificial Brain is a death metal band hailing from Long Island, New York. Much like fellow NY death metallers Incantation, the band crafts dark, otherworldly-sounding music that is best described as controlled chaos – there are a lot of discordant riffs and unusual patterns, but everything manages to fit together and have a strange consistency about it. Recently, the band have birthed a hideous new offspring entitled Infrared Horizon, another bizarre slab of brutality for metalheads to wrap their heads around.
Starting off with the jarring “Floating in Delirium”, the album immediately lets you know that this isn’t going to be an easy ride. The pummeling riffs are immediate, accompanied by incredibly deep, almost alien-sounding vocals courtesy of Will Smith (no, not that Will Smith, as amazing as that would be) . The gutturals bring to mind the fucked up throat-shredding techniques of Demilich’s Antti Boman, though the music itself is more in line with Obscura-era Gorguts thanks to the highly technical, angular riffcraft of Dan Gargiulo and equally skilled bass work of Samuel Smith. In other words, the best elements of the death metal genre are on full display here and the album begins with a ton of momentum.
The question here, of course, is whether or not “Infrared Horizons” manages to keep that momentum. For the most part, it manages to succeed. While it’s not exactly the most diverse release in the death metal genre (a lot of these songs follow similar patterns), it manages to keep the listener glued to their speakers thanks to the unique combination of sounds that’s on display here – not to mention the oppressive, foreboding atmosphere it offers. Take the album’s title track, for example. It has fast, brutal blasting sections and a second half that slow things down but does nothing at all to decrease the heaviness. The music ends up sounding like the last breaths of some pitiful lifeform on a dying planet. The next song, “Anchored to the Inlayed Arc”, starts off with high pitched almost Dani Filth-like screeching. While the vocal style is still predominately deep gurgling, this does an excellent job of showing Will’s range.
This record is one that needs to be played multiple times. On first listen, I was rather underwhelmed. It was a little difficult to tell these songs apart, and these riffs don’t pop out at you right away. Everything is a bit of a blur at first, but the more you listen to it, the more you can pick out and the more you can appreciate the fantastic musicianship. From the mournful, melodic riffing that sneaks its way into “Static Shattering” and “Vacant Explorer” to the haunting final seconds of “Graveyard of Lightless Planets”, this is an album that slowly reveals its brilliance to you. If you’re into weird, progressive, spacey death metal, I’d recommend torturing your ears with this.
Last modified: September 25, 2017